Well guys if you are reading this post chances are you have read some of the previous posts from my classmates. This means that you know how very excited we are that the academic year is almost over, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. What you don’t know about us is what we did before we got to PA school. While I can’t tell you about what everybody else did before they came to school, I can tell you what I did.
As we all know it is getting harder and harder to get into PA school. That means earlier and earlier we start adding things to our resume to look more impressive. You all know what I’m talking about. The thing that took up the majority of my resume was diving. I have been a springboard diver since the age of twelve. Nothing used to give me more joy than flipping and twisting gracefully in the air before hitting the water. And yes I have smacked, belly flopped, and hit the diving board (luckily never my head). Diving taught me how to organize my time wisely, what it takes to represent an organization, and how to control my nerves. I can tell you that I have used almost all of these skills in PA school thus far. Diving was the love of my life and afforded me a lot of opportunities. It took me to college, gave me a built in family within my team, and let me travel all across the country. My experiences provided resume padding as team captain, representative of my swimming and diving team in the SAAC, and general athletic successes.
During my last year of diving, my fellow athletes in US Diving elected me to represent them on an athletic representative council. I thought being elected as an athlete representative was an honor, a great addition to my resume, and provided two free trips to the United States Aquatic Sports Convention. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, I have since changed my mind. Being an athlete representative is my way of being able to give back to a community that has given me so much.
This past weekend was my second and final USAS convention in Orange Grove, California. I flew to Cali after class on Wednesday afternoon, missing Friday’s exam. Thursday and Friday were filled with meetings about rules, finances, and brainstorming how to win more medals for United States Diving at the next Olympics in Rio. I flew home early Saturday morning and made up my exam on Sunday. While sitting in meetings all day doesn’t really sound like a blast, it was a nice visit back to my old life. It also made me appreciate the path that I am on right now. Many people asked me what I was doing now (I have been retired from diving since Olympic trials in 2012), and I explained to them that I was in PA school and discussed some of the things I am learning. As I spoke about school I realized how much I love medicine and how ecstatic I am to be a PA. It is so easy to forget that we love medicine in the humdrum of testing all the time.
So what can all you readers take away from it? First, while PA school wants all these volunteer hours, specific classes, and clinical experiences sometimes your most valuable skills may come from something that has nothing to do with medicine. Second, it is easy to get overwhelmed with being tested all the time. Sometimes you need to take a step back and visit your old life. Going back will help you appreciate what you are doing now. Lastly, stand by your commitments. Leaving school for two days was incredibly difficult and the professors were very reticent to let me go. I was able to keep both of my commitments to school and US diving. Until we graduate and develop our professional reputation, all we have is our word and keeping our commitments. Good luck to all the future applicants.
Courtney Forcucci PA-S